Funny how certain things can jog your memory and bring back stuff that happened to you years ago. Not long ago I wrote a blog about Monty Python and afterwards did a search on you tube looking for my favourite Monty Python sketches. One of the ones I came across was a sketch called ‘the visitors’. You must remember it if you’ve ever watched Monty Python: A romantic night in for a couple then someone knocks at the door. It’s Eric Idle who says “Remember me, at the pub, three years ago?”
That sketch always makes me laugh and watching it set off this thought;
A lot of years ago (well, not that many really) when I was eighteen or nineteen I was not happy with my office job and like a lot of young people yearned to travel the world. One day my friend Chris and I decided to do just that. We packed our jobs in and set off with a view to travelling through France and on to Spain where we planned to get work in the thriving, so we were told, ex pat community of Lloret De mar.
The week before I left for France, my souped up mini cooper blew up and the former owner of the car made me a paltry offer to buy it back. I accepted in something of a rush and left for France with much less funding than anticipated. In France we started off happily travelling about but things didn’t go so well on the hitch hiking front so we jumped on a train to Spain and arrived some days later in Lloret.
I remember lying on a beach when we were approached by two Scots guys who said they would sort us a room out, a Spanish pension, in return for a few beers in the pub later that night.
They sorted the room out for us and later, we went down to the rather un-Spanish Moby Dick pub. Chris and I were separated in the pub and got chatting to different people. The Scots guys came over and I bought them a round. Then later I bought them another. The third time I thought they had been thanked enough and sent them on their way. When I found Chris he also had bought them a couple of rounds so clearly they had been well rewarded. Not that they thought so. Anyway, after a couple of weeks I got tired of fending off the constant cadgers, of spending my time either lying in the sun or drinking in the same pub with the same people and I left to hitch my way back to France.
In France I met up with an American guy who like me had worked in insurance and like me had sold his car and resigned from his job to travel in Europe. We spent a few weeks together hitch hiking and travelling in France. He of course had pretty substantial funds as his car had not blown up just before he was due to travel! When we arrived somewhere new he would book into a hotel and I would go and find a field or a park and put up my little tent then we would meet up for a glass of beer. It was clear to me he was dining well and I of course wasn’t. I must have ponged a little though after all those weeks on the road and I have to say I wouldn’t have minded using his shower but the offer never came. After a while we parted company.
Not so long ago I found my old notebook from those days and written neatly in there are his name and address and phone number in the USA. The Americans are such friendly outgoing people. I’ve always wanted to visit the USA. Wonder what he’d say if I turned up on his doorstep. Remember me? Steve Higgins? France, 1978? Any chance of using your shower?
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